Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

Wisteria and Sunshine - who could resist?
review by Maryom

Enticed by the promise of wisteria and sunshine, four ladies leave cold, wet London for a month at the castle of San Salvatore in Italy. They each have something that in their individual ways, they're running away from. Both Lottie and Rose are trapped in unhappy marriages; Mrs Fisher believes that nothing is quite as it was in 'the good old days' and Lady Caroline is trying to escape the hectic rounds and demands of Society. In the glorious, almost heavenly, surroundings of San Salvatore they 'find themselves' - for want of a better expression.

This is an oldish favourite of mine that I originally discovered through the 1992 film, starring Miranda Richardson and Josie Lawrence, and that I was prompted into re-reading  by a blog post at Iris on Books about another of von Arnim's novels,  The Solitary Summer
A lot of readers might dismiss it as lacking in action or too touchy-feely for their liking, but The Enchanted April is a book that never fails to work its magic on me. Starting in a dark, damp London February and moving to the heat and light of an Italian April, this is the perfect novel for Spring reading. The reader, too, can leave behind doom, gloom and persistent rain and bask in glorious sunshine.
Something more that appeals to me, as a gardener, is the gorgeous, luxuriant garden surrounding the castle where Spring and Summer flowers all bloom together in a mad rush, cascading down the hillside - one day I'll have one just like it!

Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Virago
Genre - Adult Fiction, Literary

Other reviews; Dusty Old Books 
                       The Worm Hole

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love both the book and the movie. If I'm ever feeling a bit down in the dumps, this book is a guaranteed pick me up, never fails to draw a smile and leave me feeling that life, however grim, has its moments of beauty.